Your final project for this class is an opportunity to connect our readings with your own emerging interests. You will formulate a research question in your preliminary proposal and then develop an annotated bibliography to pursue your inquiry, before sharing your ideas with to the class at the end of the semester and writing up a formal paper.
I encourage you to formulate a project that will help you to move toward your larger goals for graduate study. This may mean exploring the central questions in a field that interests you; developing familiarity with a body of knowledge; wrestling with a difficult issue from multiple perspectives; or practicing the skills of cultural analysis. Each student will meet individually with me to discuss their plans at least once.
Project deadlines and requirements:
Preliminary research meeting:
Bring a one-page rough description of your project idea for us to discuss. The description should include a question that you would like your research to explore.
Online peer workshop draft: due Tuesday Dec 3. Comments on your peers’ drafts must be posted by Monday Dec 9.
We will use Google Docs to share drafts and workshop them in small groups. Your workshop draft should include 5 pages of writing and a bibliography that includes at least 5 sources in addition to materials from class. The 5 pages do not need to be polished, final writing, but they do need be comprehensible to readers who are unfamiliar with the area you are researching. Make sure to include:
- the research questions that are guiding your process
- an outline of the structure you think your final project might follow
- what you have found out from the research you have done so far
- the complexities, difficulties, questions, and concerns you are facing in your process
We will peer review in the following random-ishly assigned groups (I tried not to have folks from the same program responding to one another):
- Otis, Danielle, Melanie, Prisma
- Gianina, Carolina, Caitlin
- Kym, Cameron, Brian, Kate
Read your peers’ assignments and share your responses, questions, challenges, and emerging ideas. Leave at least three comments on each paper. Remember that your goal is to deepen your peer’s analysis as well as to help them express their thoughts fully and clearly.
Project presentations: Thursday December 5
On our last day of class, everyone will share their final project in a short presentation. Your papers will not be done yet, so we will treat this as an opportunity to build on our peer workshop by sharing ideas and suggestions. Nevertheless, you should use this as an opportunity to practice your presentation skills, as if you were sharing your work in progress at a conference roundtable. Plan to speak for five minutes (no more and not much less). Visuals are not necessary, but you are welcome to include them if you would like to.
Final submission on ELMS: Thursday December 12
Your final paper should be around 3,000 words long, not including works cited. It should be a polished, formal piece of writing – though this does not mean that you cannot take up a speculative, open, or exploratory tone, or that you must tamp down any creative urges. If you wish to use a different format in your final project, we can discuss it in your preliminary research meeting.